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Georges Bizet

Biography

Born: 1838   Died: 1875   Country: France   Period: Romantic
Known for one of the world's most popular operas, Carmen, Georges Bizet deserves attention as well for other works of remarkable melodic charm. Many of his works received cool receptions on their premieres but are now considered central to the repertory of classical music.

Bizet was born in Paris on October 25, 1838, and grew up in a happy, musical family that encouraged his talents. He learned to read music at the same time he learned to
Read more read letters, and equally well. Entering the Paris Conservatory before he was ten, he earned first prize in solfège within six months, a first prize in piano in 1852, and eventually, the coveted Prix de Rome in 1857 for his cantata Clovis et Clotilde. His teachers had included Marmontel for piano and Halévy for composition, but the greatest influence on him was Charles Gounod, of whom Bizet later said "You were the beginning of my life as an artist." Bizet himself hid away his Symphony in C, written when he was 17, feeling it was too much like its models, Gounod's symphonies. The two years spent in Rome after winning his prize, would be the only extensive time, and a greatly impressionable one, that Bizet would spend outside of Paris in his brief life. When he returned to Paris, he lost confidence in his natural talents and began to substitute dry Germanic or academic writing for his own developing idiom. He composed a one-act opera for production at the Opéra-Comique, but the theater's director engaged him to write a full-length opera instead, Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). It was not a success at the time, but despite a few weaknesses, the work was revived in 1886, and its sheer beauty has earned it a respected position among the lesser-played operatic repertory. In 1863 Bizet's father bought land outside Paris where he built two bungalows, one of which Bizet frequently used as a compositional retreat. He began a friendship (apparently not a physical one) with a neighbor-woman named Céleste Mogador, a former actress, author, courtesan, circus rider, and dance-hall girl. She is said to have been the model for his masterpiece's title role of Carmen. Bizet earned his living as an accompanist and publishing house arranger. Meanwhile, he poured his creative efforts into an immense five-act opera in the grand tradition, Ivan IV, but it was never performed. This proved to be a pattern for the rest of his career. Bizet would work hard to get an opera produced, and even if he did, it would usually receive only a handful of performances. Bizet's corpus of unfinished works is large, and testifies to his unsettled existence and his difficulty in finding a place in France's notoriously hierarchical and conservative musical world. In 1869 Bizet married Geneviève Halévy, daughter of his teacher. The marriage did not turn out to be a happy one, primarily due to her family's history of mental illness. In 1872, Bizet's splendid incidental music for the play L'arlèsienne was poorly received, but when the composer assembled the music into an orchestral suite for a November performance, it found great acclaim. At last confident of his creative vision, Bizet was able to steer his final masterpiece through various obstacles, including the objections of singers and theater directors who were shocked by Carmen's subject matter. When the opera had its premiere on March 3, 1875, it was received barely well enough to hang on for future productions. Although it took audiences only a few weeks to catch on, Bizet died convinced it was a failure. Read less
Bizet: Carmen / Krasteva, Antonenko, Märzendorfer, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2054528   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: L'Arlesienne Suites, Faure, Gounod / Yamada, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186358   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Welser-most, Kaufmann, Kasarova, Rey [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188559   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Kaufmann, Kasarova, Welser-Most
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188409   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: L'arlésienne, Carmen - Suites / Bramall, Slovak Po
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550061   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Toreador Song

Browse 76-100 of 124 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Michael Bohnen
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89190 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Bedrich Smetana,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen,  Joseph Schmidt,  Emmy Bettendorf,  Ursula Lüders  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Frieder Weissmann,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 77.
    The Prima Voce Treasury Of Opera Vol 1
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1742 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Eidé Noréna,  Conchita Supervia,  Tito Schipa,  Riccardo Stracciari  ... 
    Conductor:  Henri Défosse,  Angelo Albergoni,  Giorgio Polacco,  Nils Grevillius  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odeon-Künstler Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 78.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Price, Corelli, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63495 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Mirella Freni,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 79.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Harry De Garmo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89175 Release Date: 08/24/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Eugène d' Albert,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Harry De Garmo
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  • 80.
    Robert Merrill - Arias From Hamlet, Hérodiade, Etc
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 08/17/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Bruno Huhn,  Annie Fortescue Harrison,  Richard Coningsby Clarke  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Leila Edwards
    Conductor:  Jean Paul Morel,  Spitalny,,  Russ Case,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 81.
    Herbert Von Karajan - The Legend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445195 Release Date: 07/20/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Malta,  Michel Marinpouille,  Agnes Baltsa,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
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  • 82.
    Gerald Moore - The Unashamed Accompanist
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1176 Release Date: 07/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Georges Bizet,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Victoria de los Angeles
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  • 83.
    Simply The Best Night At The Opera / Algana, Bartoli, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 26499 Release Date: 07/06/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Annick Massis,  Marilyn Horne,  Håkan Hagegård  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Marc Minkowski,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Le Concert des Tuileries,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 84.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Migenes, Domingo, Maazel
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45209 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Julia Migenes,  Faith Esham,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Lillian Watson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 85.
    Prima Voce - Pasquale Amato - Leoncavallo, Bizet, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7897 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Antonio Carlos Gomes,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Francis Lapitino,  Pasquale Amato,  Marcel Journet,  Frieda Hempel  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Rogers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 86.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 21586 Release Date: 11/17/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Ivar Widéen,  Erik Gustaf Geijer  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Stenhammar,  John Forsell,  Martha Ohlson,  Armas Järnefelt  ... 
    Conductor:  Hjalmar Meissner,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
    CD: $54.49
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  • 87.
    Von Der Königlichen Hofoper Zur Staatsoper Unter Den Linden
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89403 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Josef Mann,  Ludwig Suthaus,  Paula Buchner  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 88.
    Famous German Baritones Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89967 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Conradin Kreutzer,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Erich Kunz,  Hans Hotter,  Hans Wocke,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Otto Dobrindt,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Four Famous German Baritones
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89969 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen,  Emil Schipper,  Wilhelm Rode,  Emmy Bettendorf  ... 
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  • 90.
    Joseph Metternich Singt
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90125 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Metternich,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Anny Schlemm
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Herbert Sandberg,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 91.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - José Mardones
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89158 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Esteban Anglada  ... 
    Performer:  José Mardones,  Giovanni Zenatello
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  • 92.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Andrej Ivanov
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89067 Release Date: 07/03/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Andrei Ivanov,  Irina Maslennikova
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 93.
    Callas Edition - Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Prêtre, Paris
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66663 Release Date: 06/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Maria Callas,  Andréa Guiot,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  René Duclos Chorus,  Jean Pesneaud Children's Choir
    CD not available
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  • 94.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458204 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Tatiana Troyanos,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Haberdashers' Aske's School Boys Choir
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  • 95.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 96.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4581182 Release Date: 08/11/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  José Carreras,  Bryn Terfel,  Andrea Bocelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir G. Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan,  Alberto Erede  ... 
    CD not available
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  • 97.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Joel Berglund
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89151 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johan August Söderman,  Andreas Hallén,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Joel Berglund
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 98.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 99.
    Stanford Archive Series / Lawrence Tibbet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 5500 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giordano Paltrinieri
    Conductor:  Artur Bodanzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 100.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Leonard Warren
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89145 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Warren,  Jan Peerce
    Conductor:  William Tarrasch,  Frieder Weissmann,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Jean Paul Morel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale
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